Photo by Ben Johnson, courtesy of The General Muir.
- 2 large beets
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper, freshly cracked
- Smoked salt
- Coriander, freshly cracked
- Russian Dressing
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 tablespoon pickle relish
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
- 4 slices rye bread
- Butter (for spreading on each piece of bread)
- 6 tablespoons sauerkraut, warmed
- 4 slices Comté or gruyere cheese (preferred), or swiss
- Trim tops and bottoms from beets. Wrap beets tightly in foil with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees, approximately 1 hour, or until tender. Let cool and peel as soon as you can handle the beets (they get harder to peel as they cool more; you should be able to rub the skins off with a towel easily). Slice beets into ¼-inch thick slices. Dress liberally with olive oil, smoked salt, pepper and coriander. Reserve at room temperature.
- Blend together all ingredients for Russian dressing. Set aside.
- Butter each slice of bread on one side. Griddle the bread in a nonstick pan over medium heat, buttered side down, until golden. Place on a cutting board. Spread 1 tablespoon Russian dressing on each slice of bread. Arrange 4 slices of beets on 2 of the bread slices. Top beets with 3 tablespoons warm sauerkraut and 2 slices cheese each. Put open-faced sandwich under the broiler, until the cheese melts. Remove from the broiler and top with the reserved bread slices.
- Cut sandwiches using a serrated knife—with confidence! (You want to cut through the sandwich on the first try to avoid the beets slipping out the sides.) Serve with half-sour pickles.